Inventing Medical Devices: The Hypodermic Needle That Can See
From Peter Crooks
Fiona Denison, MRC Centre for Reproductive Health, Marc Desmulliez, Heriot-Watt University
A major challenge in therapy is to ensure that drugs are precisely delivered to the right place in the body. In pregnant women in labour, the insertion of a needle into the back to site an epidural or spinal anaesthetic can achieve highly effective pain control. However, in some women this can be very challenging, especially when there are additional complications like obesity. Join us to hear about research that is leading to the development of a needle which has ultrasound embedded into the device so that the operator can see in real-time exactly where the tip of the needle is. Such a device would have applications far beyond the field of obstetric anaesthesia, for example for taking targeted tissue biopsies to diagnose cancer and guiding administration of local anaesthetics for nerve blocks.